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House of Commons Hansard #112 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was loan.

Topics

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, the government has undertaken a review, through the Department of Foreign Affairs, of the issue of whether there is any outstanding security question which remains.

As we know, there was one breach of the rules with regard to security, which was that documents were left in an unsecured location. That had nothing to do with the individual in whose home it was left. It would have been the same problem had it been left in any unsecured location.

For that, the member for Beauce submitted his resignation as foreign affairs minister and it was accepted.

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Martha Hall Findlay Liberal Willowdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite is missing the point. The point is the question of the value of an inquiry. Renowned expert Wesley Wark was asked if the foreign affairs investigation would satisfy national security experts. He said:

I doubt it very much. First of all, Foreign Affairs has no real experience in investigating these matters. It has a small security department. It doesn't usually handle high level cases of this kind, that's usually CSIS or the RCMP.

All we ask is that if we are not going to get answers internally, give us one good reason why not a public inquiry?

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, as I said many times in the House, and I suppose the member for Willowdale was not listening, foreign affairs can draw on whatever public agencies that Canada has that have the expertise in the areas to assist it with its search.

If a public inquiry were to occur, it would not have the ability to call on CSIS or the RCMP to undertake any investigation. That is not how a public inquiry works. That can only happen if it happens in the context of the foreign affairs inquiry, which is why we are proceeding in that fashion.

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government continues to dismiss this issue by saying that it is somehow a private concern.

This scandal involves national security, classified government documents, conflict of interest, multi-million dollar government contracts, the Departments of Foreign Affairs, Public Works, Public Security and Transport, the Privy Council, RCMP, organized crime, Hells Angels, and the Prime Minister of Canada.

How much more public does it have to get before the government realizes that this is a serious matter of national security and that Canadians deserve answers?

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, as I have indicated many times, the Department of Foreign Affairs is conducting a review and it has the ability to draw on whatever agencies the government has to assist it in that regard. I am quite certain that is the way in which, if there are any outstanding concerns, it will be able to turn those up.

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, for weeks the government refused to answer. It hid behind false arguments of privacy as a security breach was ongoing.

As some with links to organized crime compromised national security and government contracts, the Conservatives dismissed serious questions, sticking their fingers in their ears and saying, “I am not listening”.

When will the government realize that this cover up has failed? When will it call an independent inquiry and start putting national security ahead of the political interest of the Conservative Party?

Public SafetyOral Questions

11:30 a.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member's interest in national security were genuine, he would support the foreign affairs review, but if his interest is the same as that of the member for Vancouver South, one of wanting to know, for example, who else does Madam Couillard have relationships with, then I guess he wants to have a public inquiry into those questions.

We do not think that is what public inquiries are for. We are focusing on the serious public policy issues. Those will be undertaken by foreign affairs. It has the resources available and can draw on whatever resources it needs to get to the bottom of any legitimate national security issues, not the issues of who has been sleeping with whom that interests the Liberals so much.

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

June 13th, 2008 / 11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, on May 1, the Premier of Quebec, the mayors of Montreal and Quebec City and the president of the Union des municipalités wrote to the Prime Minister, asking him to reverse the decision by his Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec to cut funding for NPOs. The signatories did not even receive an acknowledgement that their letter had been received.

Does the Prime Minister realize that by acting in this way, he is showing disdain for the entire nation of Quebec? Will he promise to reverse his minister's bad decision, yes or no?

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière Québec

Conservative

Jacques Gourde ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

Mr. Speaker, our department will continue to support regional economic development in Quebec and will continue to work with NPOs. We will continue to fund one-off projects that produce results and have a beginning, a middle and an end. Our mission is to support regional economic development, not to favour anyone.

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the four signatories are protesting the sudden, significant withdrawal of Ottawa's share of the funding for NPOs. Opinion in Quebec is unanimous that these organizations are a crucial part of Quebec's economic development model.

Will the Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec finally stop posturing and agree to restore funding for non-profit organizations?

Regional Economic DevelopmentOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière Québec

Conservative

Jacques Gourde ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois wants to have it both ways. Given that the Bloc will never manage any public money, it is in no position to lecture us about regional development.

The Bloc Québécois record of achievements for the regions of Quebec will always be a big zero.

Competition BureauOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Competition Bureau's investigation into gas price fixing reminds us of the importance of this consumer watchdog, and also confirms the need to strengthen its powers. It does not make sense that the bureau cannot launch an investigation until it receives a complaint or that it cannot summon and suitably protect witnesses during such a major investigation.

Does the Prime Minister recognize that the powers of the Competition Bureau must be extended?

Competition BureauOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Colin Carrie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the government is very proud of the Competition Bureau. It does a very good job on what the member is talking about.

We are standing up for consumers and we are getting things done. In this specific case, 13 individuals and 11 companies have been charged with price fixing and 3 companies have already entered guilty pleas. These are the first such charges since 1955.

We will not tolerate price fixing for gas companies, but what we would like to see go away is the Liberal leader's plan to put a carbon tax on everything. It would raise the price of gas and energy for all Canadians. That is something we definitely will not support.

Competition BureauOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, if these are the first charges since 1955, that is proof that the law is not working. The Bloc Québécois wants to give the Competition Bureau some teeth through Bill C-454. Having the ability to shed some light on an entire industrial sector will reduce the risk of price fixing. The Prime Minister knows all too well that this situation is not unique or limited to service stations. He must pick a side: consumers or oil cartels.

Will the Prime Minister finally commit to supporting Bloc Québécois Bill C-454?

Competition BureauOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Colin Carrie ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, first of all, the Bloc member does not understand his own bill. Bill C-454 would do nothing to lower the price of gas.

The government is taking action because we will not tolerate high gas prices. If we look at what the Bloc proposes in its platform, it is a $500 million increase in taxes for petroleum companies. As always, the Bloc members say one thing, but their platform says the other.

We will not tolerate high gas prices.

Elections CanadaOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Scott Simms Liberal Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, NL

Mr. Speaker, the in and out scheme was all about hiding national expenses on the books of local campaigns. The Conservatives then ran up an additional $1.3 million in ads to help marginal ridings.

The member for Nepean—Carleton partook in this scheme and some of us are begging these questions. Did the increase in votes from 2004 to 2006 come from the scheme? Does the government credit this increase to the member's personal charm and mastery of cultural sensitivity or to the fact that Conservatives exceeded advertising limits?

Elections CanadaOral Questions

11:35 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative candidates spent Conservative funds on Conservative advertising. Those funds were spent legitimately and under the law in a common practice that was done by all political parties.

Elections Canada has failed to produce any evidence that our practices were any different than the other parties. We will continue to follow the law as we always have done in the past.

Elections CanadaOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Scott Simms Liberal Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, NL

That is pretty rich, Mr. Speaker. He is in, but he should be out, quite frankly.

Here is another situation. When he talks about legitimate spending, why was it the only party raided by the RCMP? Because only one party crafted a scheme to exceed national spending limits and bilk taxpayers out of illegal rebates.

Conservative candidates, like the one in my riding, are left holding the bag by a national campaign that pressured them to take part in this scheme. These candidates want to testify before a parliamentary committee, where the majority of MPs there want to hear from them.

Why is the government forcing its members, including the member for Nepean—Carleton, to filibuster the ethics committee?

Elections CanadaOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, among the number of factual inaccuracies contained in the member's remarks was his discussion of filibusters at the ethics committees. In fact, it is the Liberal Party, along with the opposition, that is filibustering a parliamentary committee from investigating the question.

Our wish is to have such an investigation and for that investigation to include the actions of all parties. Therefore, we would encourage the member to tell his members at that committee to show up and to vote in favour of our amendments, which would allow our party and every party to be investigated.

JusticeOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, that parliamentary secretary continues to speak on behalf of the government. He is a major spokesperson who answers more questions on behalf of the government than most of the cabinet ministers. Now he is the poster child for Conservative intolerance.

The Conservatives believe that young offenders cannot be rehabilitated, that they should be punished as adults. Why is it that adult Conservative government members pay no price for their intolerant and hateful remarks?

JusticeOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Fundy Royal New Brunswick

Conservative

Rob Moore ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to improving the Youth Criminal Justice Act. We have been taking strong measures. Canadians are not fooled. They know there is only one party in the country that stands for the rights of victims, that there is only one party that is committed to addressing our justice system and that there is a party that is holding up these proceedings in the justice committee. Why does it not get on-board and help us fight crime?

JusticeOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, what about the victims of Conservative hate-filled remarks against gays and lesbians and against aboriginals?

Former Progressive Conservative cabinet minister, John Crosbie once said that the problem with the Reform Party was that 90% of its members gave the other 10% a bad name.

The Conservatives failure to punish intolerance makes the entire Conservative government look intolerant. When Conservative parliamentary secretaries utter hatred against gays and aboriginals, they face no punishment whatsoever.

Why are the Conservatives so soft on hate?

JusticeOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Winnipeg South Manitoba

Conservative

Rod Bruinooge ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, this week we saw aboriginal leaders in our House of Commons, sitting on the floor, and they stood up with incredible stature and accepted the apology of our Prime Minister.

Those members on the other side heard an apology yesterday, which I feel was considerably meaningful and sincere. I would ask them to have that same stature we saw in the House of Commons on Wednesday.

TaxationOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Conservative Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, while the Liberal leader schemes at ways to raise the tax bills of Canadians, from a regressive GST tax to a punitive carbon tax, our Conservative government is implementing unprecedented measures to reduce the federal tax burden. We have cut taxes in every way. We kept our promise and cut the GST by a full two points. We reduced the overall tax burden to its lowest level in nearly 50 years. In total, our nearly $200 billion in tax cuts means more Canadians keep more of their hard-earned dollars.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance please advise the House on the date of tax freedom day in 2008?

TaxationOral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Kitchener—Conestoga for his hard work in helping the government reduce taxes. It is because of this government's work and after three balanced budgets that Tax Freedom Day is coming earlier.

I know the Liberals do not want to hear this. This Saturday, June 14, we celebrate Tax Freedom Day, four days earlier than last year. That is 11 days earlier than the last full year that the Liberals were in power. This is good news for everyone except for the Leader of the Opposition who wants to change—